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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2017-06-10 19:47:14

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1159

"kerfluffle" for "kerfuffle"

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

kerfuffle (n.) “row, disturbance,” 1970; from 1946 as kafuffle, said to have been used c. 1930 in Canadian English, ultimately from Scottish curfuffle.

Note that none of the various spellings of “kerfuffle” and its precursors have an “l” in the second syllable. But in recent years, there have been enough occurrences of “kerfluffle” to warrant mention as an alternative spelling of kerfuffle in a couple of dictionaries. Of course, kerfluffle’s being pronounced differently from kerfuffle makes it something other than just an alternative spelling. It seems pretty clearly to be a blend of “kerfuffle” with “fluff”. “Fluff”, in the commonly used sense of “to do something badly” or “make a mess of, destroy or ruin”, has obvious meaning connections to “kerfuffle”, which means this blend is also likely an eggcorn for some.

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#2 2017-06-10 19:50:53

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2039
Website

Re: "kerfluffle" for "kerfuffle"

Another connection may well be from the lack of solidity which constitutes fluff to the lack of seriousness or substance implied by kerfuffle . At least for me, when I say there was a big kerfuffle about something I mean it is not a serious disturbance, but something transitory and only of importance to a few, particularly to those who either don’t really understand the basic issues involved or who at least are powerless to accomplish much by the disturbance they cause.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-06-10 19:54:01)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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